Arizona’s Scottsdale Gun Club is hosting its second annual have-your-picture-taken-with-Santa photo op, where children (of all ages — and by all, I mean even five) can have their image taken pulling Santa’s beard while they brandish an $80,000 firearm, or a pistol, or perhaps an AK-47. It’s the perfect present to get the man or woman or tike who has everything, and it will last a lifetime — which of course could be just a few minutes if little Bobby isn’t careful where he points the props. After all, once the photo shoot is over, the real shooting begins. The kids are allowed — which is frightening, and not just because they’re not allowed to own them — to shoot the guns once they pay the $5 to $10 photo fee.
The Scottsdale Gun Club’s photo shoot is American Exceptionalism at its finest. A conglomeration of crass commercialism, religion, guns, disrespect for life, reframing of an instrument of death as a fun toy and object to idolize, and marketing.
“It wouldn’t be the holiday season if conservatives were not, once again, accusing President Obama of waging a ‘war on Christmas‘,” Marie Diamond at Think Progress writes. ”But this year, it’s gun rights advocates who are offering the most twisted take on a Christmas tradition.”
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